Video game developers appear to be polarised on the appeal of Natal. Develop has posted the results of its ‘Jury’ in which Natal was discussed. Andrew Smith, Developer at Proper Games said,
“If I’m honest, Microsoft has confused me a little with Natal. On the one hand, they’re looking to hop on the Wii bandwagon with what they think is the next step in easily-accessed games (and what I see as a really swish but ultimately boring EyeToy upgrade) – bringing simple, fun, arcadey titles to a new audience.”
“On the other hand they’re doing so on the fairly hard-core 360, marketing the efforts at people who will probably already own a Wii, and are providing this (at best) risky opportunity to developers on a machine that’s actually pretty expensive to develop for – at least in comparison to the Wii.”
“We’ll see some cool stuff, no doubt about it – but I remain thoroughly sceptical as to whether it’ll do much business, and as such I’m personally quite reluctant to dive into it yet.”
Conversely, Ed Daly, General Manager of party game specialist ‘Zoe Mode’ said,
“We’re very interested in Natal and its potential to sustain and build on the enthusiasm that non-gamers have shown for Wii – no doubt Microsoft’s marketing will be key here.”
“As for the games, Zoe Mode has been learning about motion controlled gaming since our work on EyeToy and it will be fascinating to see how others cope with the learning curve, as the design and technical challenges are easy to underestimate. We look forward to announcing a Natal title before too long.”
The general consensus appears to be Natal is aimed squarely at the Wii ‘casual market’ and will be of little interest or use to hardcore gamers.